Fountain of Crystal, 2009
Acrylic on canvas
30 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches (76.5 x 91.8 cm)
image courtesy Gagosian Gallery
CRASH - HOMAGE TO JG BALLARD - FEBRUARY 11 - APRIL 1, 2010
‘I have used the car not only as a sexual image, but as a total metaphor for man's life in today's society.’
/ “J’ai utilisé la voiture non seulement comme image sexuelle, mais aussi comme une métaphore totale de la vie de l’homme dans la société d’aujourd’hui.”
“Gagosian Gallery London will present "Crash," a major group exhibition opening on 11 February 2010, which takes its title from the famous novel by JG Ballard.
Ballard's novels stand among the most visionary, provocative literature of the twentieth century, with his ominous predictions regarding the fate of Western culture and his insights into the dark psychopathology of the human race. This exhibition is a response to the enormous impact and enduring cultural significance of his work, following his death in spring 2009. Highlighting Ballard's great passion for the surreal and his engagement with the artists of his own generation, "Crash" includes examples of his specific inspirations as well as works by contemporary artists who have, in turn, been inspired by his vision.
Ballard's first published short story "Prima Belladonna" appeared in 1956, the same year as the celebrated Independent Group's exhibition "This is Tomorrow" at the Whitechapel Gallery, which marked the birth of Pop Art in Britain. It was here, and in the work of Surrealists such as Salvador Dali and Paul Delvaux, that Ballard found the seeds of what he called a "fiction for the present day". With its dystopian depictions of the present and future, its bleak, man-made landscapes and the recounting of the psychological effects of technological, social and environmental developments on humans, his work has resonated strongly among other writers, filmmakers and visual artists. The exhibition "Crash" brings together works by artists tuned to the Ballardian universe, from his contemporaries such as Ed Ruscha, Richard Hamilton, Andy Warhol and Helmut Newton, to younger artists such as Tacita Dean, Jenny Saville, Glenn Brown and Mike Nelson.
The exhibition is organised in association with the Estate of JG Ballard.
List of artists: Richard Artschwager, Francis Bacon, JG Ballard, Hans Bellmer, Glenn Brown, Chris Burden, Jake & Dinos Chapman, John Currin, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Paul Delvaux, Cyprien Gaillard, Douglas Gordon, Loris Gréaud, Richard Hamilton, John Hilliard and Jemima Stehli, Roger Hiorns, Damien Hirst, Dan Holdsworth, Carsten Höller, Edward Hopper, Allen Jones, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Vera Lutter, Florian Maier-Aichen, Paul McCarthy, Adam McEwen, Dan Mitchell, Malcolm Morley, Mike Nelson, Helmut Newton, Cady Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi, Steven Parrino, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Jenny Saville, George Shaw, Cindy Sherman, Piotr Ukla?ski, Andy Warhol, Rachel Whiteread, Christopher Williams, Jane and Louise Wilson, Christopher Wool and Cerith Wyn Evans.”
“Crash: art and JG Ballard collide at the Gagosian gallery
17 February 2010: A new exhibition celebrates the explosive cultural impact of late author JG Ballard. Taking its title from his novel, Crash, it shows works by artists tuned into Ballard's dystopian, often violent universe, from contemporaries such as Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to younger artists such as Jenny Saville and Tacita Dean.
Crash is at the Gagosian gallery in London"
Roy Lichtenstein, Explosion II (1965)
Photograph: Rob McKeever/Courtesy of Gagosian gallery
Richard Prince, Elvis (2007)
Mike Bruce/Richard Prince/Courtesy of Gagosian gallery
Douglas Gordon, Self-Portrait of You and Me (Jayne Mansfield), 2007
Rob McKeever/Douglas Gordon/Courtesy of Gagosian gallery
Richard Hamilton, Hers Is a Lush Situation (1958)
Photograph: Richard Hamilton/DACS 2010/Courtesy of Gagosian gallery
Florian Maier-Aichen, Untitled (Freeway Crash), 2002
Florian Maier-Aichen/Courtesy of Gagosian gallery
Andy Warhol, Green Disaster (Green Disaster Twice), 1963
Rob McKeever/Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc/Courtesy of Gagosian gallery
Cyprien Gaillard, View of Sighthill Cemetery (2008)
Cyprien Gaillard/Courtesy Laura Bartlett Gallery and Gagosian gallery
voir aussi / see also:
"Crash: JG Ballard's artistic legacy
Shortly before JG Ballard's death last year, Iain Sinclair made a pilgrimage to the author's Shepperton semi, a shrine to his surreal tastes and happy family life. A new exhibition of his favourite paintings and of art work he has inspired honours this distinctive vision."
Crash! (1971) Part 1 of 2
Crash! (1971) Part 2 of 2
“compare & contrast”:
Crash (1996) James and Gabrielle at the auto show
“JG Ballard: the great poet of the ‘new bad things
Alex Callinicos celebrates the works of writer JG Ballard, who died last week
Bertolt Brecht, the great Marxist poet and playwright, liked to say, “Don’t start with the good old things but the bad new ones.” In other words, don’t mourn the past, confront the new cultural forms capitalism creates, however degraded and empty.
The writer JG Ballard, who died last week, was the great poet of the “new bad things”.
The names of some of his books and stories convey what drew his imagination out – The Drowned World, Concrete Island, The Terminal Beach, Vermillion Sands, Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan, High-Rise, The Dead Time, Motel Architecture.
Ballard was fascinated by the juxtaposition of the banal and the extreme. Crash (1973), his most notorious work, starts with a huge motor accident at Heathrow.
Vaughan, the driver who causes and dies in it, was trying to crash his car into actress Elizabeth Taylor’s limousine, thereby achieving, via their shattered vehicles and torn bodies, sexual union with her.
Ballard wasn’t interested in exploring the depths of human subjectivity, in trying, say, to understand Vaughan’s inner life and explain his obsession.
Indeed, his characters are usually fairly cardboard. He wrote about the unconscious resonations that large scale processes set off within individuals.
The Drowned World (1962) is, at one level, an astonishingly prophetic novel. It portrays an Earth that, thanks to global warming, is being engulfed by spreading sea and jungle.
But the tension in the book comes from how the surviving humans adapt to this new tropical world.
Increasingly they follow the dictates of the reptilian core of their brains, inherited from their evolutionary ancestors hundreds of millions of years earlier when seas had also covered most of the Earth.
The same kind of direct circuit hooking individuals up to a harsh and strange environment is at work in Ballard’s most famous novel, The Empire of the Sun (1984).
This was based on his experiences as a teenager in a Japanese internment camp in Shanghai during the Second World War. It was later filmed by Steven Spielberg.
Witnessing the cruelty of colonial Shanghai and the Japanese camp made him an outsider in post-war Britain. He felt “marooned in a small, grey country where the sun rarely rose above the rooftops”.
He homed in on the “nightmare terrain of dual carriageways, police cameras, science parks and executive housing, an uncentred realm bereft of civic identity, tradition or human values, a zone fit only for the alienated and footloose, those without past or future”.
Ballard is writing here about the west London suburb of Shepperton, “the reassuring centre of my mind”, where he spent most of his adult life.
It is on this very terrain that the most instructive experiences are to be had. “Rather than fearing alienation, people should embrace it,” Ballard told his friend and fellow writer Iain Sinclair.
“It may be the doorway to something more interesting. That’s the message of my fiction. We need to explore total alienation and find out what’s beneath.”
He wasn’t promising we would discover some secret message of hope or liberation. Ballard wasn’t a political writer in the conventional sense, or even particularly one of the left.
But in slyly demolishing the false consolations of late capitalism, his writing is certainly critical.
One of his best late novels is Super-Cannes (2000), set in an apparently Utopian, ultra-modern business community in the south of France.
Extreme violence lurks beneath the glossy surface. It finds an outlet in the raiding parties that bored executives mount on nearby immigrant neighbourhoods, raping and murdering.
I thought this was quite a good metaphor for liberal capitalism after the Cold War – supposedly finally at peace, in reality pursuing endless wars.
Ballard was too cool a customer, and his writing is too obsessive, to be confined by such a political interpretation. But he was a great subversive, and the world will be duller without him."
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